President of India Sree Mukherjee prays at Tirumala temple
Tirupati, Sep 9
President Pranab Mukherjee Sunday prayed at the Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple, atop Tirumala Hills in this pilgrim town of Andhra Pradesh.
Mukherjee, who is visiting the temple for the first time after assuming the highest office, had 'darshan' early Sunday. After a traditional welcome by the temple authorities, he offered prayers.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs of the world's richest Hindu temple, had made arrangements for the president's visit. The temple town is about 630 km from capital Hyderabad.
After the 'darshan', the president sought blessings of the head priests at Sriranganayaka mandapam. The priests also presented 'prasadam' and mementoes.
Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, TTD chairman Bapi Raju and other top officials accompanied Mukherjee.
The president later inaugurated 'Nandakam', a guest house built at a cost of Rs.35.6 crore by TTD. The building will provide accommodation to 2,000 pilgrims.
Mukherjee, who arrived here Saturday evening and spent the night at Padmavati guest house, also visited Sri Venkateswara Vedapatasala at Dharmagiri, two km from Tirumala and gave away medals and certificates to students of a Vedic school.
Later, Mukherjee visited Tiruchanur and offered prayers at Sri Padmavathi temple, on the outskirts of Tirupati. A pilgrimage to Tirupati is considered incomplete without a visit to this temple.